Social Worker Suspended By Council Over Her Belief A Person ‘Cannot Change Sex’ Awarded £58,000 Damages



A social worker who was suspended by Westminster City Council over her belief a person ‘cannot change their sex’ has been awarded damages of nearly £58,000 after winning a landmark harassment claim.

Rachel Meade, from Dartford, Kent, was given a one-year warning by Social Work England after a member of the public (just one!) complained in 2020 about posts she had made and liked on Facebook.

The social worker of 20 years was then suspended by her council bosses as they launched a disciplinary investigation and warned her she could be sacked for misconduct over her views. The idea was that her claims that a person cannot change sex were ‘discriminatory’ against trans people, but it’s not discriminatory to disagree with something, is it?

After a full year on suspension, Rachel was issued a final written warning in which she claims she was ‘bullied into silence’ when trying to ‘speak up for women’s rights‘ during the government’s consultation period on reform to the Gender Recognition Act.

Well, all’s well that ends well, because Rachel has now been awarded almost £58,000 in damages from Westminster city council and Social Work England. Here she is celebrating her W outside the aptly-named Victory House:

Not only that, the employment tribunal also called for both the council and the watchdog to train their staff in the principles of freedom of speech. For example, someone’s right to state that they believe a person can or cannot change sex, without being suspended or sacked over it.

Rachel Meade, 55, said she was ‘delighted with such a positive judgement after a such a long and dreadful experience’, telling The Times:

‘It’s been a hard fight, but I feel relieved and liberated that justice and freedom of speech has prevailed.’

Tribunal judge Richard Nicolle, who awarded the damages, said that Social Work England’s actions amounted to a ‘serious abuse of its power as a regulatory body’.

Chief executive of Social Work England, Colum Conway, said the regulator was considering the judgement:

‘We recognise that this has been a particularly difficult case for those involved, conducted against a backdrop of debate on many issues within society in relation to freedom of expression.

‘Our professional standards reflect the diversity of social work practice and the positive impact it has on people’s lives, families and communities.

‘We will continue our work in this area and clearly articulate the reasons when there are reasonable grounds to investigate a social worker’s fitness to practise.’

A Westminster city council spokesman said:

‘We have received the findings of the remedy hearing and will need to take a little time to digest before responding more fully.

‘We have apologised to Rachel Meade and the points which emerged during the tribunal and remedy hearing are an important and helpful guide in clarifying what is acknowledged to be a rapidly evolving area of employment law.’

So, one hell of ruling overall, with the tribunal not only awarding Rachel Meade £58,000 in damages but also ruling ALL social work staff must now be trained in free speech and to learn to follow the law as it is, rather than what they wish it would be.

After all, every individual is entitled to their beliefs and their expression of them, especially in their private lives and on such a needlessly controversial topic. Don’t spend that £58,000 all at once, Rachel!

For the uni students who stormed out of a diversity panel after a biologist said men and women are different, click HERE.



Most Popular

Recommended articles

Scroll to Top